How Fast Can Risk Go?

Pretty Fast.

Dice Wars is a very well done, minimalist version of Risk, that old strategy chestnut. It is worth checking out, especially to see just how fast the classic dice battle gameplay can be streamlined. The rules are a tad opaque (you get new dice based on the highest number of connected territories you control), but the absolute lack of waiting or downtime easily makes up for it. One design decision in particular – new dice (your “armies”) are placed randomly instead of by the player – strikes me as interesting because it flies in the face of conventional game design. Not being able to place your own dice does take away a strategic element, but the benefit of having a simpler game with less fussiness easily outweighs the cost. I can get my strategy fix in 15 minutes or less… that is no small feat!

One thought on “How Fast Can Risk Go?

  1. Posting on this 6 months later… 😉

    I had the chance to check this out earlier today and it’s pretty interesting. As you note, players are unable to place their reinforcements where they would like. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It really opens up a lot of strategy because your primary strategy hinges on your opponents helping you out and getting your big stacks to the front.

    The first game I played was pretty rough, but the second was much easier. There are some definite strategies necessary to employ in order to win.

    Turn order is a big part of the game, which bothers me a bit. Striking first is absolutely necessary, because the way to win is to destroy the enemy’s larger stacks with even bigger ones. If you ever find yourself outnumbered it’s over. There’s no attrition so a big stack can cause a lot of damage, particularly when directed against slightly smaller ones.

    I kind of wonder how this game would work out in MP. Because of the nature of the game I wonder if it would simply grind down and become unplayable. To make any strong advances you have to rely on the AI being stupid and allowing you to get your large armies to the front. A human player wouldn’t be so forgiving.

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